4-H judging, composting, gardening

Ever thought about judging a project at the County Fair or wondered what it took to become a judge? Well on Dec. 28 from 5:30  to 8 p.m. at the Community Building in Horton, K-State Extension is hosting a fair judges training.

We are looking for adults with knowledge in specific project areas who are interested in becoming a judge. The plan for the evening is to cover the foundation of 4-H and judging. We will then break out into project areas to go into more detail about that specific project.

The project areas being covered at this training include: Food Preservation, Clothing Construction, Photography, Plant Science, Space Tech, and Fiber Arts. These also tend to be projects that we have problems finding judges for, so if you know of anyone who would be good, please encourage them to attend.

Please RSVP to the Brown County Extension Office 785-742-7871 by Dec. 18, and let us know your first and second breakout session preference.

Compost Pile Maintenance

Compost piles should be turned about once per month even during the winter months. This will ensure the composting process continues and that all materials are equally composted. A compost pile is “turned’ when uncomposted material is moved from the sides and tops of the pile to the center where it provides “fuel” for the microorganisms that break it down.

Water may need to be added if the material you move to the center is dry. Check the moisture content by squeezing a fistful in your hand. It should feel moist but no excess water should drip out.

Compress the material in the pile as best you can as excess air can slow the composting process.

Poor Drainage in Garden Areas

Winter is often a good time to fix areas in the garden where water sits and does not drain properly. Such areas often harm plant roots due to poor oxygen levels in the soil.

Consider adding good topsoil so water doesn’t sit. Be sure to till or spade the area to mix the new topsoil and the underlying existing soil. Plant roots do not like to cross distinct barriers caused by one type of soil sitting on top of another.

Internal drainage can be improved by adding organic matter such as peat moss, rotted hay, cotton burrs, rotted silage or compost. This can be done by adding a two- to four-inch layer of organic matter to the surface of the soil and tilling or spading in as deeply as possible.

Matt Young38 Posts

<p>Matt Young is the Brown County Extension District director, as well as an agent in the area of agriculture and natural resources.</p>

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